Motivated by an entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to bring to market a unique idea or to offer a specific skill, there are 28 million small businesses in the U.S., and they account for 54% of all sales.

Today we’re sharing some tips to protect you and your company with business insurance.

To launch a business and keep it thriving entails a good amount of passion, a strong business plan, usually a substantial financial investment and a few things most people don’t think about, like business insurance.

With so much at stake, insuring your investment, yourself, employees and property the right way is one of the most important decisions every owner must make. From commercial auto and property to workers’ comp, there are a lot of considerations.

Here are 6 tips to get you started.

1. Know the rules. Check with your state’s Department of Insurance about what type of coverage is required. According to the Small Business Administration, most states require businesses with employees to pay for workers’ compensation insurance, unemployment insurance, and state disability insurance.

2. Imagine the unimaginable. Before you can decide how to protect your business it’s important to understand the threats. With so many business insurance options, business owners must first identify their needs and level of exposure. In doing so, they should consider the threat of fire, slips and falls, loss of income, defective products, injured employees or customers, equipment breakdowns. Don’t ever think that these things can’t happen to you – those are the famous last words of too many business owners.

3. Employment Practices Liability Insurance. Employee relations sometimes go bad. Most business owners value and respect their employees, and often treat them like family. But disagreements can occur and business owners need to protect themselves should those differences escalate into a lawsuit. You don’t even have to be at fault for a person to file suit. Employment Practices Liability Insurance protects employers from wrongful acts that may arise out of their employment practices, such as race, age, sex discrimination, wrongful termination, failure to promote and retaliation. This coverage is quickly becoming crucial in today’s insurance market.

4. Find security in a digital world. Hackers have penetrated half of all small businesses in the past year. So business owners must make sure that they’re insured against threats that can affect their business online. If you conduct transactions or collect personal information digitally, you will want to explore options like Data Breach Coverage and Cyber Risk coverage.

Customers may try to take action against you (lawsuits) if their information is ever leaked or stolen by a hacker. Data Breach Coverage typically provides Data Breach Response Expense Coverage which helps cover the cost of notifying and assisting your clients after a breach. Data Breach Liability Coverage helps protect you if an individual’s information is compromised and they file a lawsuit against you.

5. Home is where the heart is. But if it’s also where your business is, you need additional coverage. Your homeowners’ policy does not protect your home-based business. Once you evaluate the risks to your business you will want to consider adding an endorsement to your policy to cover basic business risks. Depending on the type and size of business, you will likely be better protected by a seperate business policy.

Most importantly, consult with your independent insurance agent to help you determine the coverage your business needs. Call our office today at (330) 337-9557 and let us help you put together a plan that will keep you – and you


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